Bing! Yahoo! Google! Betting on search engines is fun!
At first, Bet US’ entertainment futures on “Business: Search Engine Rankings” seem pure folly. As long as the short-term memory of this culture remembers, it’s been Google.com then Yahoo.com, one-two, forever and always.
All that may have changed – and BetUS offers you the bet it might have – in late May with Microsoft’s release of Bing.com, an alternative search engine locked into new Internet Explorer 6 browsers. Even with Microsoft backing the enterprise, though, how popular can a search engine David be against the Googliath? You might be surprised enough to pony up a bit.
A brief look at the quartet of “Search Engine Rankings” proposition bets offered by Bet US.
• The number 2 ranked search engine on December 31, 2009
• Bing to rank first in Google for term “search engine”
Neither of these is as crazy as it appears. Firstly, within a week of its release, Bing may have already surpassed Yahoo popularity. Robin Wauters of techgeek site TechCrunch.com theorized Bing had jumped into the no. 2 spot for search engine popularity – and better yet for Microsoft, the leap came at the direct expense of Google’s popularity – based on data provided by monitoring service StatCounter.com.
According to StatCounter, June 5th saw Bing with 16.28% utilization in searches within the United States and 5.62% worldwide; Yahoo came in with 10.22% and 5.13%, respectively. Wauters reckons that “the jump Bing appears to have made since launching merely a couple of days ago is significant, and the drop you see in Google’s share even more so.”
As for Bing ranking first on Google.com searches for “search engine,” today Bing.com ranks eighth on such searches, but can you guess what #1 is? How about the top five in any order? Believe it or not, this search turns up a top five of AltaVista.com, Dogpile.com (huh?), Yahoo, Ask.com, and Lycos.com.
• Who will buy Yahoo by December 31st, 2009?
Against the backdrop of a staggering economy and the Googliath, Yahoo is making a comeback. Six months after a Microsoft acquisition seemed inevitable, Yahoo took on former AutoDesk CEO Carol Bartz to head up their company in January. Six months after Bartz’ hire, Yahoo shares are up over 33% since December, while just this week Barclays Capital and Citigroup upgrade Yahoo shares for investment purposes. Just say “neither.”
• First search engine to offer real-time search
From the Things Just Keep GettingFasterandFasterandFaster Department comes this prop bet, based on technology that will allow you to see what’s happening not just now-ish (Google News sometimes takes two minutes between uploads – sheesh!), but NOW. Twitter has a version of the phenomenon, while beta versions or near-beta versions (“delta versions,” maybe?) are up at Scoopler.com and Collecta.com.
But let’s face it: Collecta and Scoopler just ain’t gonna steal the thunder of a household name like Google, Yahoo, or (bets Microsoft) Bing.
So who wins? Favorite Google definitely has the fast track here, as company co-founder Larry Page has apparently long been a proponent of real-time search. Page was quoted in May as stating in reference to a question about Twitter that “I have always thought we needed to index the web every second to allow real time search. At first, my team laughed and did not believe me. Now they know they have to do it. Not everybody needs sub-second indexing but people are getting pretty excited about realtime.”
It doesn’t take a tech expert or office sociologist to figure that RealTimeGoogle is already in the works, and if you don’t believe this supposition, start researching online. I bet I can tell you what webpage you start with – Does it begin with G-O-O?